Pirates find magic late in SHU Volleyball Classic

The Seton Hall volleyball team had not completely swept a weekend entering its fourth and final regular season tournament, the SHU Volleyball Classic. On Saturday night, the Pirates looked like they were heading into the same direction that their first three weekends went by. Senior Shelbey Manthorpe woke the blue and white up, though, and changed all that very quickly.

Amanda Boyer/Photography Editor

Manthorpe finished with a career-high 53 assists along with nine kills and six digs as The Hall rallied from a two-set deficit to take down Middle Tennessee State in the finale of the tournament (23-25, 17-25, 25-21, 25-19, 15-8).

Junior Molly Grammer tallied 14 kills while junior Amanda Hansen racked up a .545 attacking percentage and put up 13 of her own. Sophomore Dani Schroeder compiled 13 kills as well. Libero Tessa Fournier added 26 digs while senior Stacey Manhthorpe threw in 14 in the winning effort.

“Passing was the key to this win,” third-year head coach Allison Yaeger said. “In the first two sets, our passing was awful. But we found a way to get it on track and it was so crucial to the comeback.”

The first set featured 14 ties and four lead changes. The Pirates led 9-4, but a surge by MTSU tied the set at 10 apiece. The Blue Raiders broke away from a 23-23 tie with two straight points to get out to the lead.

In the second set, MTSU went on a 6-1 run to extend a 13-11 advantage to a commanding 19-12. Chelsea Ross and Jazmyne Johnson led the Blue Raiders to the 2-0 lead, as Johnson had nine kills in the second set alone.

Holding a 9-8 lead in the third set, the Pirates went on a 5-2 run. The Blue Raiders got as close as two from there. The Pirates led 21-19, but took four of the following six points and stayed alive in the match.

In the fourth, the momentum kept rolling. Down 6-5, SHU exploded for a 6-1 run. The Pirates led by as many as eight in the game, rolling to a match-tying set win.

In the fifth, The Hall played some of the best volleyball that it has all season.

Yaeger’s team tallied a .750 attacking percentage, with nine kills and no errors on 12 attacks.

“It wasn’t the easiest way to get a win, but we never gave up,” Shelbey Manthorpe said.

Seton Hall 3, Dartmouth 0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-16)

As what she did in the night cap isn’t enough to explain why she was the SHU Classic MVP, Shelbey Manthorpe started Saturday with a big match. The senior setter had a double-double with 27 assists and 17 digs in a sweep over the Big Green.

The Pirates dropped four of the first six points, but it was all Hall from there. SHU went on a 13-5 surge and never looked back.

The second set was locked up at 12 before a kill by Ashani Rubin gave the Pirates a lead they did not give up. The Pirates’ 25-16 set three final score was their largest lead, as the Big Green just could not hang around late in sets.

“This is the best volleyball that we’ve played,” Yaeger said following the match. “I couldn’t be prouder of this team.”

Seton Hall 3, Fordham 0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-13)

On Friday night, the SHU Classic got rolling with the brooms for the Pirates. Shelbey Manthorpe finished with 23 assists, eight digs, and seven kills in the shutout.

Down 17-14 in each of the first two sets, the blue and white had to play the comeback role against the winless Rams, who lost all three matches on the weekend and are 0-13.

Junior Amanda Hansen tallied six kills in the first set. The blocker had nine on the match to go with eight blocks. The Pirates’ Sarah Kenneweg delivered a service ace with the first set in favor of Seton Hall, 23-18. That set up the team for the victory.

In the same role in the second, the Pirates exploded for a 7-0 surge after being down 17-14 and went on to take the game.

Fordham’s miscues were the story of set three. The Pirates took 10 of the first 13 and 19 of the first 28 points.

John Fanta can be reached at joh.fanta@student.shu.edu or on Twitter @John_Fanta.

Author: John Fanta

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